Bibliography: Writing Studio Pedagogy, Active Learning, Learning Spaces
Gierdowski, D. (2015). Instructor perceptions of a flexible writing classroom. In R. G. Carpenter, R. Selfe, S. Apostel, & K. Apostel (Eds.), Sustainable learning spaces: Design, infrastructure, and technology. Computers and Composition Digital Press. Retrieved from https://ccdigitalpress.org/book/sustainable/
This chapter presents a descriptive case study of an active learning classroom that is in many ways quite similar to the one recently created for UConn’s First-Year Writing program. It addresses technology in classrooms in specific detail and also highlights flexibility as a key attribute affecting educational practices. It also considers the ways in which unfamiliar active learning spaces can be seen as an obstacle by some instructors and students. One important conclusion Gierdowski makes is that pedagogical spaces — though an important factor in shaping the activity that goes on in a classroom — don’t guarantee any particular practices or outcomes. Instead, the way teachers shape classroom activity with the space is the most consequential factor, which Gierdowski argues warrants special attention to helping instructors develop strategies for working effectively with active learning spaces and technologies.
Petersen, C. I., & Gorman, K. S. (2014). Strategies to address common challenges when teaching in an Active Learning Classroom. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2014(137), 63–70.
In this article, Petersen and Gorman offer some practical advice for working in Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs). They begin by laying out some of the things commonly described as problems by instructors teaching in ALCs for the first time, such as "no focal point" and "overwhelming technology." They then recommend specific strategies for acclimating to these changes, ways to to work with the room rather than against it. At the end of the article, the authors propose a method for using student feedback to address the variety other challenges that may arise when working in an unfamiliar space.
Walls, D. M., Schopieray, S., & DeVoss, D. N. (2009). Hacking spaces: Place as interface. Computers and Composition, 26(4), 269–287.
Walls et al. describe the challenges of teaching writing in less-than-ideal environments and present a five-part heuristic for analyzing spatial educational challenges. They begin by theorizing educational space and arguing that spaces are embedded with values and affordances based on sedimented cultural/educational histories and institutional politics. Acknowledging that spatial redesigns in contexts like universities often take many years and are the result of hard-fought institutional arguments, Walls et al. advocate for “hacking” classrooms in the short-term; in particular, they propose meta-awareness of the spaces we teach in and “working with” (and sometimes creatively against) those spaces to achieve desired outcomes. This article’s literature review usefully summarizes a couple of decades of research in instructional spaces in writing studies. The idea of “hacking” is useful as a model for bringing studio pedagogy to spaces that are not explicitly designed for it.
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- Carpenter, R. G., Selfe, R., Apostel, S., & Apostel, K. (2015). Sustainable learning spaces: Design, infrastructure, and technology. Retrieved from https://ccdigitalpress.org/book/sustainable/
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- Gresham, M., & Yancey, K. B. (2004). New studio composition: New sites for writing, new forms of composition, new cultures of learning. WPA, 28(1–2), 9–28.
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- Langley, D., & Guzey, S. S. (2014). Conducting an introductory biology course in an Active Learning Classroom: A case study of an experienced faculty member. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2014(137), 71–76.
- Lerner, N. (2009). The idea of a writing laboratory. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
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